Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

by - 19:02

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt
Published by Andersen Press Limited, 2015
Genre: Young-adult/ middle-grade
Pages: 183

This was a bit of an impulse buy and not one that I was planning at all but when you are delayed in an airport for 5 hours with only a small WHSmith, I think it is necessary to buy a few books to cheer yourself up. And when they are buy-one-get-one-half-price how could I resist?

As this was an impulse buy, I didn't realise it was a middle-grade book, assuming it to be YA until I picked it up and noticing the simplicity in the writing, it dawned on me. I am not normally one to read middle-grade books and I don't think I have actually read one since I was in middle grade (or primary school for us English folk) but I found myself really enjoying the simplistic writing but, actually, a very heavy plot line. 

Told from 12-year-old Jack's point of view, when his parents adopt 14-year-old Joseph who has had a tough life, is angry at the world and has a three-month-old daughter; one who he has never met but is desperate to be apart of her life. This is a really beautiful story about friendship, family and the tough reality of life. I will admit, if you cry at books at all, get the tissues ready as this one really got to me and I was stuggling to read because of the tears! 

It is a sad book and I am wholly impressed that Gary D. Schmidt managed to depict such an emotional story in 183 pages. But I think it was the straightforwardness that comes from being told from the mind of a 12-year-old, without all the added drama, which made it so hard-hitting. I think it is one of those books that talk about those situations in life that rarely happen to you, but do happen to others and may well happen to you one day and that insight is quite shocking but important to read about as these things do happen. 

So overall, I would completely recommend this book to anyone who likes real-life fiction that deals with heavy topics but are also easy to read and enjoyable, with both highs and lows. It is beautifully written and feels as though you really are being told from the mind of a 12-year-old boy living what happened in real life. 

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